Billy Cobham

Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

different strokes and all that, but there is no question that cobham was, is and always will be a phenomenal drummer. powerful, inventive, articulate... we could go on and on!

i was listening to 'vital transformation' this morning, from his earlier days with mahavishnu, and billy is just SICK!!

i really enjoy watching him play, too. very unique approach.

you can agree to disagree with your friend, but you should definitely check out some cobham before you make blanket decisions.

there are MANY incredible drummers out there, and they each have something distinctive to offer.
 

T.Underhill

Pioneer Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

I have a crack team of six scientists and a kid on acid still trying to figure out what he played w/ Mahavishnu.
 

balboa

Senior Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

different eyes see different things and different hearts beat on different strings
 

moe.ron

Silver Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

at least he has great taste. its not like he's saying that about travis barker like so many do. whenever people talk great drummers, billy ALWAYS comes up.
 

tmc

Senior Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

Tama Player said:
My friend scotty thinks bill cobham is the best, fastest and overall greatest drummer out there. I disagree with him but he won't listen. Can any of you help me and tell me why you agree or disagree with him. I personally think there are definitley some better drummers , please help!

Hey Tama Player.

The 'best' anything is way too subjective. Human opinion is colored by far too many variables/emotions/experiences/tastes to be objective. It pretty much comes down to the way that DogBreath explained it... i.e. you're both right/wrong, and neither of you is right/wrong.

-Michael
 

Auger

Senior Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

T.Underhill said:
I have a crack team of six scientists and a kid on acid still trying to figure out what he played w/ Mahavishnu.

I was wondering where he wandered off to!
 

toteman2

Pioneer Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

Billy Cobham was as talented as they come. The man could adapt in almost any situation. Amazing AMAZING drummer. The man played every note with love and care. So much emotion in his playing.

This is one of my favorite clips of Billy...Sure he's not blowing you away with his chops in this one, but he sure knows how to get the most out of each beat. He looks like he is in heaven. Such a beautiful song.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=rME1WvYeBzM&search=Billy Cobham
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

Some of you make it sound like he's dead or somethin.' Actually he's been tearin' it up in Europe for the past 20 years, soundin' better than ever because he has 20 years of maturity and experiences to go with those chops. Us Americans sometimes forget there is this other world out there with butt kicking players, including some of our own guys who just get tired of our dog eat dog competition vibe. Now I think our competiveness is what makes American music very great. But it probably burns out alot of people too.

Guys like Cobham who wanted to be involved in more complete jazz projects are appreciated more in Europe than they are here. Here, he'd have to revamp his image and all that garbage before people would accept him changin' directions.

This isn't to say that he still wouldn't rise to the top in the states with his old audience, even with the rise of VC and Weckl, two guys that I think owe Cobham a great deal. But out there it just seems more pleasant for an artist, and I think a guy like him is entitled to somethin' like that.

These people who make such big deals about how he accidentally hits rims and such are out of their minds for bein' all wrapped up in that, because I think we drummers are the only people who even pay attention to all that.

Yeah had he stayed in the States, we would probably be lookin' at him as a giant god of drums instead of seein' him in a thread that brings some of that into question. Is he the greatest? I say no. Is he better than some of the drummers already mentioned here? I say yes. Is he a top guy who brought more than his share to the table? Certainly so.
 

Fur drummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

The first time I saw Billy Cobham I couldn't get over how huge his kit was. He had four base drums. He was also the first person I saw to use octobans. Cobham is an incredible fusion drummer but I think Louie Bellson, in his prime, was better in my opion.
 

funked_up

Pioneer Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

DogBreath said:
Have you ever heard of "personal opinions"? In your friend's opinion, Cobham is the geatest, and therefore he is right. You feel different... and therefore your friend is wrong? Is he wrong about his favorite flavor of soda pop, too?
Dogbreath,

Before I say it, let's just make everything clear with everyone that there is no such thing as a greatest drummer. Or at least there hasn't been for the past 20 years lol *cough cough "Buddy" cough cough*.

But yes, just because his friend's opinion is that he is the greatest, doesn't make it right. If someone IS something then it is factual, not opinion based. If they THINK that person is, THEN it is opinion based. That's like saying if someone believes that apples are better than bananas, then they are. Lol, just thought I would try and clear that up.
 

Spike

Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

Awesome video that toteman2 linked - I love to see Billy Cobham playing on the simpler kits... the big/huge kits are impressive for sure but the best players can make a regular kit sound humongous :)

As far as is Mr. Cobham the best? Well, it depends who you ask LOL! I certainly have a ton of respect for his skills and continued contributions to the music and drumming world.

Oh, yeah, and I wish I was ambidextrous like him... my left hand is extremely useless (been working on it but with very little progress). I wonder how many drummers end up being fairly ambidextrous.
 

JohnLittle

Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

Some things are subjective but I think we can all agree on one thing...this guy has serious fashion issues:

 

low-tech

Senior Member
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

JohnLittle said:
Some things are subjective but I think we can all agree on one thing...this guy has serious fashion issues:


hey man, for its time.......that hat was revolutionary

i always wanted one of those shirts, with the silkscreen of a suit on them
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
Re: Bill Cobham the best drummer?

there is no such thing as a best drummer...sheesh.


i like conham but he is nowhere near my own personal top ten favourites. if your mate believes that a drummer who is better than all others exsists then tell him fromme he needs to open his eyes and learn more about drumming.

j
 

dawg

Senior Member
b.c.'s a definite influence...as a teenager it was moon,baker and mitchell,but when i heard"spectrum",i fell out...and then mahavishnu....he's like power drumming with speed and clean chops. thru him and his fusion/rock bent i LATER discovered buddy,tony,elvin,de johnette,weckl,etc. but it was billy who opened those doors to hearing these greats. i went to his clinic a few years ago,,just phenomenal chops,ambidextrous,showing us how to use different rudiments(especially paradiddles)around the set.
 

jbc6

Junior Member
Cobham's problem (if it is a problem), is that he is a poor marketer of himself. The fact that he is a phenomenal drummer doesn't mean much if no one knows it. Another fact is that most people in the world have never heard of him, Dave Weckl, Vinnie, etc. And an amazing number have never heard of Buddy Rich. If you were to poll 1000 people, I think we'd be amazed at how few recognized the names of those folks. Being drumming enthusiasts we think that everyone knows who they are, but it ain't true.

It's all about marketing. Look at the success of no-talents like Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton.

We all know that there is no such thing as the best drummer. What there really is, is the drummer whose style we like best.

At a certain level of musicianship, one could say that those folks are pretty much equal in skill level. At that point, it's about style preference.

Is Cobham the best ever? In my mind he is. But someone else would say Ringo Starr is. And we'd both be right.

One thing that I don't agree with is when someone says that there are better drummers than Billy Cobham. It makes me wonder how familiar they are with his work. I seriously doubt that there is a better drummer than B.C.. One may like another's style better, but that's as far as it can credibly be taken.

Also, are we talking about what he's doing now, or when he was revolutionalizing drumming in the 1970s and '80s?

P.S. I am kidding about Ringo. :)
 
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dawg

Senior Member
i agree with your statements (execept the one about ringo,who was perfect for the beatles, however) B.C. is among my favorites. but i agree there is no "best" when these guys get to a master level (however that could be defined...by the number best-selling records,is it by affirmation of the the drumming community and or other world-class drummers?) and ther are so many styles where one master drummer will be better in that style,than another,but they are both great.and yes billy was an innovator, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,so thru the years many younger drummers made a study of him,learned and improved on the original.but that in no way detracts from his greatness.the evolution of drumming continues...
 
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